May is opening month..some even organized by the end of April! Now available for your visits are Petey’s Coop de Ville; Aquila in Aquinnah featuring coffee from Martha’s Vineyard Coffee Company, New Lane Sundries and handcrafted island art; Chesca’s; Giordano’s; and Dairy Queen, with a little hiccup of shortened hours amid staff shuffling because of a Covid uptick now under control.

Meanwhile, peripatetic Judith Campbell had a book signing of her latest book in Plymouth.

Speaking of Judith — who served us so well at the Unitarian Universalist Society here — I must say I am dismayed that someone swiped the Pride Flag we had hanging at the U.U. building on Main street. Karma gonna come around like a boomerang.

I am so thrilled to be working for this newspaper. The Gazette earned many awards for writing and photography in the New England Newspaper and Press Association annual contest. Our Mark Alan Lovewell placed in photography; no surprise there. What was a complete surprise to Mark was the closely guarded secret of his birthday party last weekend. I saw the video. He looked truly astonished! Here’s to another successful year for Mark!

The only surprise in one of our greatest Island artist’s new awards was how long it took. Carly Simon has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nobody does it better.

Tireless work by many Islanders, and special mention to Pam Benjamin, goes to the quickly organized and very successful Empty Bowls fundraiser at the Grange Hall. Food, music, dancing and Island-made bowls to bid on. Janet Messineo Israel was thrilled to win a bowl crafted by Washington Ledesma. More than $44,000.00 was raised for food relief in Ukraine. We sure know how to have a party.

Gear up for the next big party: the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Evening of Discovery gala. Tickets are on sale now for this event taking place on June 25.

The June Manning memorial bench has been installed at the Gay Head Lighthouse, thanks to our Menemsha Coast Guard families. What a great spot to sit and remember June.

Other kudos go to our Bruce Elliott, who won a Chamber of Commerce award celebrating our service friends. Bruce earned it for his hard work and great style at the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop.

And congratulations to my young friend Nathaniel Morrison, who placed second in the Pinewood Derby. Oh, how I remember those days!

The birthday bandwagon pulled along Michael Johnson on May 1. Wes Stokes and Courtney Campbell claimed May 2. Pete Seeger was remembered on May 4, along with Archie Robertson. Jim Macdonald celebrated on May 6. And on May 10, Phyllis Meras Cocroft took the cake. Many happy returns.